Date Night DIY Valentine’s Day Cocktails!

Planning on a cozy night in with the honey this Valentine’s Day? If so, I’m right there with you – I am partial to calling it an early night, turning on some Netflix, mixing up a couple cozy drinks, and having an old fashioned snuggle-fest after a romantic and active day out. It’s easy, inexpensive, and intimate. However, finesse is involved on a night like this, regardless of how relaxed and aloof a night on the couch is.
This is where the booze comes in. If you make the drinks yummy enough, attractive enough, and plentiful enough, cocktails have the potential to enchant a solitary, intimate night with thoughtfulness and conviviality. You might be wondering: what are some good, romantic cocktails to share with that special someone? I’m here to provide you with a few lively libations to help set the mood for your Valentine.

1) The Strawberry Gin Fizz
This one isn’t for the faint of heart; a spin on the Ramos Gin Fizz, this cocktail includes a raw egg white in its recipe, and is dangerously delicious. With a silky mouthfeel, bright pink in the glass and a fruity, slightly floral taste, it’s already a very thoughtful cocktail for any romantic occasion. As for the fact you have to shake it for 6-8 minutes, well, you can chalk that up to thoughtfulness, too.

2) The Vesper
The Vesper Martini, as it’s also known by, classes it up a bit. Found in Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel “Casino Royale”, it’s first introduced without a name. However, when Vesper Lynd, the bond girl and double agent breaks Bond’s heart, Bond names the drink after her. As with any Bond martini, “shaken, not stirred” is the original mixing method, but you may have it either way.

3) The Hanky Panky
While the term “hanky panky” nowadays has some explicit meaning to it, this classic cocktail’s origin isn’t suggestive, even if it is Valentine’s day. Dating back to 1920’s England in the illustrious Savoy Hotel, the Hanky Panky is a spin off the sweet martini, and was created by bartender Ada Coleman for Edwardian actor Sir Charles Hawtrey. Upon drinking Coleman’s invention, Hawtrey exclaimed, “By Jove! That is the real Hanky-Panky!” And it has been called such ever since. See the recipe for the Hanky Panky below.

~Watson, Fearrington House Restaurant Bartender

The Hanky Panky
1.5 oz. Dry Gin
1.5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes Fernet Branca
stirred and strained into a coupe or martini glass with a twist of orange